When it comes to acting, Machine Gun Kelly likes to shoot scenes as Colson Baker.
The 31-year-old “Till I Die” rapper has made quite the career for himself in Hollywood in both the realms of acting and music. However, he prefers to use his real name, Colson Baker, rather than his stage name for film roles.
“The Dirt” actor explained to the Hollywood Reporter why he opts to use his birth name. “I think it’s more just out of respect for the art,” he said.
“If you’re looking at a Basquiat piece and you have feelings about him personally,” he continued, adding, “is that fair to the art because of how you feel about him personally?”
MGK can next be seen starring as a cold-blooded killer alongside Heather Graham and Sam Worthington in the Western drama “The Last Son,” now playing in select theaters and on demand. It’s his second major big-screen starring role after 2019’s Mötley Crüe biopic “The Dirt.”
Kelly believed that it was time to start using his real name to separate his Machine Gun Kelly persona — who he said is a “character,” from his musical one. “There is music and then there’s movies, ” he said.
He then compares his two monikers to the 2010 Leonardo DiCaprio film “Inception.” The rock star added, “I don’t feel like being ‘Inception’ in a person. Like there’s a character inside of a character inside of a character inside of a character. I’d rather it just be me playing a character in one world and then me playing a character in another world.”
“I was always playing characters because I was a nomad in my childhood,” Kelly noted, having moved around the US to places such as Denver and Cleveland in his youth. “I was very much lost and I found grounding in being other people, like the people that I saw on TV or the people I was listening to. I think they just combined and it turned into being a character on-screen.”
“I think I’m new to being vulnerable outside of songs. I see a lot of pictures of me and there’s like, smiles on them,” he said. “It’s just weird though because I didn’t feel good at all that day and I kind of am sick of smiling on days when I don’t feel like smiling.”
Kelly continued, “And I feel like this odd pressure because I don’t want my fans to think that I’m taking something for granted so if I accept an award and I’m super smiley but behind the scenes, there was stuff going on.”
“The Last Son” is out now in select cinemas nationwide and available to rent or buy for Amazon Prime Video members.